Martin delivers stunning ride
Updated: 2013-07-12 07:41
Germany's Tony Martin confirmed he has put his injury concerns behind him with a stunning time trial performance on the 11th stage of the Tour de France on Wednesday.
Martin won the 33km individual time trial from Avranches to Mont-Saint-Michel in 36 min, 29.87 sec to beat overall race leader Chris Froome by 12 seconds, with no other rider getting within a minute of the German.
Indeed, Martin's average speed of 54.271 kmh registered as the third-fastest ever on the Tour, with only Greg LeMond of the US in 1989 and Britain's David Millar in 2003 going faster.
Yet the 28-year-old's Tour could have been over almost before it had begun when he suffered a nasty fall on the first stage in Bastia.
Martin was taken to hospital on a stretcher after going down in a crash near the finish of the opening stage. While he sustained no fractures he still came away with a concussion, widespread bruising and a deep cut on his left elbow.
Omega Pharma sporting director Brian Holm said Martin would have abandoned the race had the crash not happened right at the beginning and, after winning stage 11, the German praised the doctors who helped him get back to fitness so quickly.
(China Daily 07/12/2013 page24)